Lightning ignites fire near Granite Hot Springs - Updated
View of smoke from the Granite Fire around 6 PM on Friday, July 20. Picture by the Bondurant webcam.
Granite Fire threatens Granite Hot Springs
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
July 20, 2007
Update 6:15 PM: Granite Fire Still Burning on Bridger-Teton The fire was spotting, which means it was shooting small spots of fire ahead of the main fire line and creating new fires which can grow into the large fire, increasing the rate of spread. The Granite fire is estimated at more than 100-acres this afternoon. Granite Creek Road (Forest Service Road 30500) has been closed just beyond the fork for the Safari Club. Granite Hotsprings and Granite Creek Campground have been evacuated. The fire is still potentially threatening to the structures at the Granite Hot Springs pool. Due to the way the fire is burning and the extreme fire behavior, the firefighters are carefully trying to keep the fire contained in the Granite Creek drainage. "The eastern flank of the fire is lined with rock and it can’t go anywhere,” said Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter. “Until we can get a handle on it, we hope the fire will continue to burn north into the wilderness,” he said. Two helicopters are assisting the firefighters in the suppression efforts.
9:30 AM Update: A lightning caused fire was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Gros Ventre Wilderness yesterday afternoon (Thursday, July 19) approximately 22-miles northeast of Hoback Junction, Wyoming up the popular Granite Creek drainage in Teton County.
The Granite Fire is estimated at 25 acres.
Forest officials have closed the Granite Creek Road (Forest Service road 30500) starting just beyond the fork for the Safari Club and continuing north to Granite Hot Springs.
Granite Creek campground was evacuated early this morning.
Currently, recreationists may still utilize the Swift Creek trail provided they do not try to come out on the Granite Creek side. Firefighters are attempting to protect the area around the structures Granite Hot Springs.
Firefighters are working to keep the fire from spreading west and south until more resources arrive. “We are hoping to keep the fire contained in the Granite Creek drainage,” said Jackson District Ranger Dale Deiter. According to Deiter, the acres the fire has burned to the north and east into the wilderness area will result in improved habitat for the bighorn sheep.
The fire is very aggressive and has a high potential for spreading due to the dry fuels and high temperatures predicted for today. “The weather is not going to be on our side today,” said Deiter. “We are doing what we can to keep the firefighters and the public safe,” he said. The Haines Index is an atmospheric index used to indicate the potential for wildfire growth by measuring the stability and dryness of the air over a fire. The Haines Index can range between 2 and 6. The drier and more unstable the lower atmosphere is, the higher the index. The Haines Index reading for the Granite Creek area is 6.
Firefighters have ordered additional resources for the Granite fire, including the support of two engines from Jackson Hole Fire & EMS. For more information, visit www.inciweb.org.